Charlie Ewels appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link having received a red card for an act of foul play contrary to Law Number 9.13 (A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously) in the Guinness Six Nations match England v Ireland on 12th March 2022.
The independent Judicial Committee consisting of Adam Casselden SC – Chair (Australia), David Croft (Australia) and Jamie Corsi (Wales) heard the case, considering all the available evidence and submissions from the player and his representatives.
The player admitted that he had committed an act of foul play worthy of a red card. Having reviewed all the evidence, the committee deemed that:
- The act of foul play was reckless as a result of the player’s poor tackle technique.
- There was direct and forceful contact made between the head of the player and the head of the ball carrier. Having regard to World Rugby’s Head Contact Process the degree of danger was high because the player comes out of his defensive line at speed in an upright position to attempt a dominant “ball and all” tackle on the ball carrier. The player never lowers, or attempts to lower, his body height before contact with the ball carrier resulting in a forceful clash of heads. The player had a good line of sight of the ball carrier and was in control of his actions coming into contact. There was no sudden and significant drop or movement by the ball carrier prior to contact.
On that basis, the Committee applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in contact with the head. This resulted in a starting point of a six-week suspension.
Having acknowledged mitigating factors including, the player’s early acceptance of the red card, his remorse and contrition for his offending, his relatively unblemished disciplinary record over a long playing career and his good character and conduct at the hearing, the committee reduced the six-week entry point by three weeks, resulting in a sanction of three weeks (to be served as the following given the player’s upcoming schedule):
England v France – 19 March 2022
Bath Rugby v Sale Sharks – 26 March 2022
Bath Rugby v Worcester Warriors – 30 March 2022
The Player may apply to take part in the Coaching Intervention Programme to substitute the final match of his sanction for a coaching intervention aimed at modifying specific techniques and technical issues that contributed to the foul play. Further information can be found here.
The player has the right of appeal within three working days of the issuing of the full written decision.